Mary and I have photographed all 21 California missions, some more than once. Last weekend we visited San Luis Rey for the third time and we always see something new. Here is what you might want to see.
This is an active Catholic church, cemetery, and retreat center. It is surrounded by a large population center and freeway close. Subsequently, it is almost always crowded. Time and patience is necessary to get the shots you want. We also suggest approaching this venue and all of the missions with a lot of reverence and respect.
Because it is pretty dark inside, the interior photos can have shutter speeds in excess of 5 seconds, so you need a tripod and “still” models. The priest in the cover photo sat still, praying for 20+ minutes. Tourists came and went along the altar, while Mary and I waited for the perfect opportunity, which finally came. I usually don’t want people in my photos, but sometimes the perfect figure makes the shot.
One of the fun activities of walking around the missions and any great architecture is looking for patterns. With this mission and cemetery, it was interesting to look at all of the crosses. Likewise, the blue sky, white-washed walls, and red tile and windows made for a nice color-block/angles and lines shot.
We have scores of blogs on this site about visiting and photographing the California Missions. Here are a few you might like – San Luis Rey Mission, Best of the CA Missions, CA Missions I, and CA Missions II.
To see more of (and buy) our photographs, please go to http://www.pamphotography.com.